Congratulations to CHEMMAT PhD candidate Annie Wang and her supervision team for being awarded a new Callaghan Innovation fund to support her PhD project to the value of $91,500.


PhD project title: Development of an eco-friendly, anticorrosion and antifouling polymer coating system for marine applications

PhD Candidate: Annie Wang

Supervision Team: Prof Wei Gao, Assoc Prof Dr Mark Jones, Dr Karnika De Silva

Corrosion and fouling of underwater equipment have always been a serious problem for the marine industry. Underwater gears such as propellers are subject to corrosion, erosion and have marine growth attached to the surface. Chromate-based coatings are used to protect the metal from corrosion due to their unique ‘self-passivation’ ability. However, hexavalent Cr is carcinogenic and highly toxic to the marine environment. The imminent ban of chromate-based coatings in most countries means there is an urgent need to develop an eco-friendly coating system that has similar corrosion resistance as chromate-based coatings. Polymer coatings are the most common materials to protect the metal for marine applications.

This is a Callaghan Innovation supported PhD project aiming to synthesise a commercially viable polymer coating system with optimised properties based on the industrial requirement from a NZ company – Propspeed. Failure mechanisms of the current chrome-free primer will be investigated to optimise the performance of primer that the team is currently working on to achieve an eco-friendly anticorrosive chrome-free organic primer.

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